The Knowledge Of G-D – 3:3

The second category is also not a level of Divine service.  Unfortunately, many people fall into this category as well.  We, therefore, must explain it, to correct it.

This level is the external stimulation of the emotions, which stems from false delusions and imaginations. One fires up his emotions. He may sing and dance and be very animated or cry out during prayer, but it is all from the externality of the heart. In truth, there is no inner illumination or vitality, and it is not at all directed towards G-d.  How can this be said with such surety?  For the simple reason that in his mind, no Divine contemplation has taken place, and if there was any, it was only in the most general of terms and did not actually penetrate and affect his soul altogether. Rather, he is merely exciting himself into a frenzy.  He does this because he has been told that one must “serve G-d with joy”, or pray “with a broken and contrite heart and with sincerity”.  But in truth, this is neither true nor sincere. How could it be? He does not know anything of G-d, that his emotions should be so aroused towards Him!  Since he does not know G-d, it is not possible for him to think about Him.  What, then, is he getting so excited about, if not false delusions and imaginations?

This is analogous to an actor on a movie set, who is told to act as if he has just won the lottery.  He jumps up and down and shouts for joy but all his excitement is an act. Even if he does rouse his emotions, as good “method” actors are capable of doing, nonetheless, it certainly is not because he won the lottery, for he did not win anything. He is just acting as if he has won something.  Likewise, in the service of G-d, one who works himself into a froth of “excitement” during prayer and “Divine” service, but has not truly contemplated G-dliness in detail, is merely fooling himself with false delusions and imaginations.

This is not at all a level of Divine service. A person such as this only serves himself, rather than G-d, for he does not desire to toil in the service of G-d, which is Hitbonenut, but only seeks the pleasure and thrill of arousing his emotions. His focus is not on G-d, but rather, on getting his blood boiling and whipping his emotions into a froth, in order to feel good.  Such a person does not seek understanding, but rather, is worshiping his false delusions and imaginations, and ultimately himself. This is tantamount to Avodah Zarah (Idolatry), and is a grave error. This “service”, as with every form of Avodah Zarah (Idolatry), results in an increased awareness of self, which causes him to fall to his lusts and desires.  In short, he has no sublimation to G-d, and completely casts off the yoke of Heaven.

He who has tasted true Divine service will have complete disdain and contempt for this coarse and alien worship.  The more attached and connected he is to G-d, through true service, the more will he despise and be disgusted by this false and strange worship which is the antithesis of G-dliness.

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